Can you be a Law Clerk as a 1L?

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friz90

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Can you be a Law Clerk as a 1L?

Postby friz90 » Sun Jul 01, 2018 12:59 am

I saw on a person resume that they wrote they were a law clerk as a 1L in a small law firm. How can you get a job like this? Is it through your law school?

RioGrandeLaw

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Re: Can you be a Law Clerk as a 1L?

Postby RioGrandeLaw » Sun Jul 22, 2018 11:27 pm

Yes. I did. Although to be honest, it's not encouraged, especially by the law schools. Most frown on 1Ls working. Thankfully, mine has a sensible policy of not working more than 15hrs a week your 1L year.

I got my law clerk job through an ad in the state Bar Journal in February of my 1L. Just sent in my resume, transcript and writing sample from the first semester. Was an absolutely fantastic job, like winning the lottery: I got to work 1 on 1 with one of (if not THE) top trial lawyers in my state. It was like having a seminar in advanced trial practice every week. He also let me extern for a federal judge and work as a summer associate for another firm. Disclaimer: YMMV.

I'm an older, non-traditional student so I have a different take on these things, but what I've noticed is that my K-JD colleagues don't understand how to hustle for a job. I've been a consultant/contractor out of work for 6 months with rent coming due, so I know how to hustle. If I were a 1L wanting a law clerk job, I'd print up a stack of CV's, transcripts and writing samples (and business cards...you can usually get them through your school), then start knocking on doors of law firms. EVERY law firm. From the solo practitioners to the big ones. Don't be snobby. Ask if one of the attorneys has a few minutes to talk to a law student. If yes, then ask them about the kind of work they do. This is a great way to start a convo, a SUPER appropriate question for a 1L, and will teach you a bit about all the different kinds of practices. Let them know you're interested in learning about different areas of law and are interested in working as a law clerk.

At the end, ask if you can leave a resume packet or a business card (Say, "Do you mind if I leave a business card, or a resume packet with you in case you hear of an opening for a law clerk?"). That's letting them know that you're on the prowl without being pushy, and if they don't want to look at your resume, they'll still have your card. I generally don't ask people "Do you have an opening?" I ask them to let me know if they hear of an opening. Because THAT'S what gets you jobs: lawyers talk to each other. They bitch about not being able to find good clerks. They are almost always needing help, because no one thinks about applying to a law firm for a job because "only lawyers work there." Or the solo guys think all the law students are working for Biglaw and won't be interested in the $12/hr they can pay. So while you might not get a call from the firm you dropped your resume off with, you might very well get a call from someone the lawyer talked to.

If there's no one available, just ask the secretary if you can leave your card or resume, and tell them you're still interested in talking to the lawyers even if they don't have a position. Chances are you'll get an email or call asking you to go out for lunch. I don't know what it is about lawyers, but they seem to have an overwhelming urge to feed students and other interested in a legal career, because no one has ever bought me as much lunch as lawyers have.

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hoos89

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Re: Can you be a Law Clerk as a 1L?

Postby hoos89 » Mon Jul 23, 2018 1:55 am

friz90 wrote:I saw on a person resume that they wrote they were a law clerk as a 1L in a small law firm. How can you get a job like this? Is it through your law school?


Don't work as a 1L. Getting paid $15/hr or whatever isn't really worth hurting your chances at a job that pays $3650/week out of law school.

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Mokosc

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Re: Can you be a Law Clerk as a 1L?

Postby Mokosc » Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:15 am

hoos89 wrote:
friz90 wrote:I saw on a person resume that they wrote they were a law clerk as a 1L in a small law firm. How can you get a job like this? Is it through your law school?


Don't work as a 1L. Getting paid $15/hr or whatever isn't really worth hurting your chances at a job that pays $3650/week out of law school.

Great advice



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